Emperor of the Ice


Emperor of the Ice tells the fascinating life cycle story of the emperor penguin, as it struggles with life in the most inhospitable climate of winter in the Antarctic region.  The penguins return again and again to the same nesting colonies like Halley Bay, featured in the book.

Climate change has however infringed upon these nesting colonies – the ice is more fragile and the penguins have to spend longer periods away from their nest to find food for their single chicks.

The text by award-winning author Nicola Davies and illustrations by the brilliant Catherine Rayner perfectly tells the story of the bird’s precarious life.  The book focuses on one penguin couple as they raise their chick.  There is an optimistic and hopeful tone towards the end that shows the penguins’ adaptability and resourcefulness for finding new nesting grounds and feeding areas.  Emperor of the Ice is a beautiful and remarkable addition to our understanding of this magnificent bird and the impact of climate change on the Antarctic.

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Emperor of the Ice

Protecting the Planet series

Nicola Davies, illustrated by Catherine Rayner

Foreword by Dr Phil Trathan, Climate Scientist

(Walker Books)

In Emperor of the Ice, Nicola Davies tells the remarkable story of the life of the emperor penguin in the fragile and intimidating environment of the Antarctic.
Climate change is forcing the emperor penguins to move to new nesting sites. Scientists observing emperor penguins from satellites in space have determined that climate change has made much of the winter sea ice unreliable. It seems that thousands of birds that once nested there have moved elsewhere.
Emperor of the Ice is not however, without optimism.  Nicola Davies weaves the disturbing consequence of climate change into a gentle, positive account of a pair of the penguins raising a chick in this hostile environment. Furthermore, Catherine Rayner’s stunning, illustrations fully complement the text and display the changing colours of the Antarctic continent. We view the penguin colony from afar – tiny figures with long shadows. We also see close-ups showing courtship, then the father nestling the precious egg and, finally, a crowd of penguins with their chicks. Happily, the final spread in the book shows more penguins as they find new homes.
Bookwagon invites readers to discover more about Emperor Penguins through investigating the World Wildlife Foundation.


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